What is appropriate use of upvote bots? A survey.

in steemit •  9 months ago

Please share what you feel is acceptable use of voting bots

When I got here, there were a lot less users, then, and it was relatively easy to go through Steem and learn the basic culture surrounding it. In that time, I learned that too much bot use was frowned upon, and could even make actual users have less respect for you, and less likely to vote on your post. There were also a lot less vote bots, back then.

Things have changed quite a bit around here. The value of Steem has gone up, and with that, we've seen a lot of growth here. There are TONS of new users here, and there is nothing to guide anyone on what is considered acceptable use of a voting bot, except that if you use them too much, you might get attacked by the community. Often when this happens, those users usually respond "It's not like there is a guide telling me what to do, or what community standards are." I can't argue with them, there.

Technically, speaking, the code is law. Buy as many votes as you want, self vote as much as you want, and others can flag you as much as they want. Personally, it's concerning that it's so easy for someone to decide to pay for votes on low quality content, and get into trending. I saw a post, recently, that was 3 sentences, a one minute video, and had been "boosted" to $300 and was sitting in trending in one of the tags. It seemed pretty clear to me that the user had put as little effort as possible into the post, so they could use the voting bots as an investment tool. That's not what Steem was intended for, and, I believe, it is harmful to the community as a whole.

The voting bots are hijacking the curation process, then again, they are democratizing in a sense. Because a lot of users get large autovotes on their content, regardless of the quality, so voting bots help to even the playing field in that sense. They can especially be helpful for new users, because people are more likely to look at a post if it has a $5 value than if it has a $0 value.

As it currently stands Voting Bots are a part of our culture. 3 months ago @aggroed posted if you don't use bidbots then the shitposters will win. He argues, that if the quality authors don't use voting bots, then we're giving away even more rewards to low quality contributors who just wish to game the system. That's hard to argue with.

Since voting bots are part of our world, why don't we discuss as a community what we think is appropriate use of them? It would be great if we could come up with a loose set of community standards, at least to be able to inform users: "This is what the Community thinks about the use of voting bots."

My Thoughts

For myself, I am probably more conservative with the bots than a lot of people. It depends on how important I feel the post is. If I don't spend a lot of time on a post(a lot of time, to me is more than 3 hours), or it's not important for lots of people to see, then I might not buy a vote at all. I tend to spend between 10 and 20 sbd for votes when I do buy votes. I never buy a vote until the first hour is done, in order to allow my early voters to get more curation value. On this post, because I think it's important, and I want a lot of opinions on the matter, I'm buying $50 sbd worth of votes... but where's the limit?

Personally, I'm not likely to vote on a post if most of it's value came from bots.

It's not a good look if your post has votes on it from a lot of different bid bots, and makes me less interested in a post.

It's not nice to your voters to use vote bots earlier than an hour.

On bot owners

Today @minnowbooster released a post announcing a new spam detector. In this post they ask thier customers to be considerate when using the bot. Within their list of what is considered abuse, is using it for "low quality content just to farm Minnowbooster for profits", and they ask us to "use discretion in upvoting posts."

I've had a few discussions with @themarkymark (of @buildawhale), as well as @therealwolf (of @smartsteem), and @reggaemuffin (of @minnowbooster). It's quite difficult for bot owners to police and regulate what content bots get used for. Those I've mentioned above take their responsibility seriously, and care about this platform, but ultimately "quality content" is a subjective matter.

The matter of what is to be considered Quality content is subjective, and it's a matter that we all should take seriously as a community. Hopefully, this post can be a springboard for us to share what we, as a community, consider to be quality content.

What do you think?

I'd love it if some Whales would share their feelings about it.

Are you less likely to vote on a post if it has lots of paid votes?

What is "Quality Content?"

Does the timing of the vote purchased matter to you?

How much is TOO MUCH?

It would also help if we knew what it took to get our posts in hot and trending. I know there is some time limit on it... but if it doesn't make to a certain value by a certain time, within the first few hours, then it doesn't matter how high the value gets, it won't go trending...

Please share all of your thoughts on the matter, and next week I'll gather up the best comments, and try to organize it. I think it will be helpful if we discuss this as a community. There are a lot of new users here, and nothing out there to really guide people regarding how to use the voting bots if they are going to use them.

P.S. Since publishing, two other posts have come out discussing the same question. After payout I'll go over them all and collect the various viewpoints in a concise location:



What is appropriate use of voting bots? What is inappropriate use of Voting Bots? What is quality content?

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Well @inquiringtimes, I've read your post and read through all the comments, and I must say, you've got your work cut out for you here!

From what I see here, there are two distinct camps; one is hoping for a near-perfect world where people would use some common sense and use the bots when they've created something worthwhile. And yes, I realise that's all semantics because who then decides what 'quality content' means. This group also believes in the sheer quality that exists on this platform and the possibility for it to continue to grow, but with 'quality users' to go along with that 'quality content'. The second camp tends to lean towards the idea if you can't beat 'em, join 'em; not to abuse the system like 'they' do, but to earn something on your own quality content. This camp prefers to view the bots as a way to make well-deserved money, because after all, this is a job and in this world, we make money at our job and simply deserve it. If you don't like that someone is earning more, the beauty is that you too can work harder and earn more as well. I think the one general consensus everyone's agreeing with is that the people who post garbage and make piles of money on it simply because they are taking advantage of the voting bots shouldn't be allowed.

When I began on steemit just 2 months ago, I 'dabbled' in upvoting bots to try and figure them out. If I had a post that I deemed 'good quality', but because of my 'newness' hadn't received much from it, I tried to use the bots to basically "pay myself for a job well done". Other times, I tried them on some photos or posts that didn't take a lot of work, and felt like I had given myself a birthday present when it wasn't my birthday...not very deserving and I must admit, I didn't feel right about it. Or I had a post that was dedicated to my friend who was dying of cancer and all proceeds were going to her foundation....a very good reason to use a bot I think. I have since quit using them altogether now and will gauge my growth organically. I do believe in the power of quality posts, but more so, at my stage here, I believe in the power of commenting and developing community in the hopes of earning true followers who want to upvote my work. Time will tell, but I'll be very curious to see what you come up with here! Cheers:)


well it's certainly a tough predicament. There was a time when the bots actually proved to have a positive return on investment... but I think those times are over... which I hope is the case. if we have a paid, promotional service, it should even cost the user money for added visibility, rather than profit them as well as giving raised visibility. Ultimately, the free market will likely agree with that sentiment.


You are correct; sometimes I will just watch on steembottracker and see people at the very last minute place a huge bid and then basically ruin it for everyone because the return goes into the negative. I think people don't understand how it actually works. Or people placing bids when it's already in the negative! I do like your idea of a paid-for-system, and perhaps add a extra risk of some sort in the hopes of only the serious players engaging in it all. It's a tough one for sure; thanks for tackling it...and thank you for the response (I realised after the fact that I'd written a novella :)


Just finished reading your comment on my blog and came here to read the comments posted here. I must say a great comment! Would you please copy it and post as your own post? I think it will help you. It's a complete post anyway. Just add some imagery and headings and you are good to go!


Will do @ilyastarar! Thanks for the tip; I'll tag you in it as well, plus your post because it is so informative! (of course, @inquiringtimes survey as well!) Cheers and thank you again!


Thanks for posting about this @lynncoyle1, I got to open my eyes to the opinions here. We all have different strategies for growth and I chose organic growth like you do. It's more difficult but it pushes me to market myself in other ways like engaging myself in the community or joining post promotion activities in discord. I like that better because I get real connections and meet awesome people. And that's how we met!

And I agree with @ilyastarar especially in his point that these bots are useful if there's an urgent/important announcement.

I for one will tell you that post values on other people's posts or how they got them matters absolutely zero in my decision to read/vote/resteem anything. Why would it? Like at all?

I read what I read, and I do what I do about it. Other people's actions on a post have no bearing whatsoever in what I personally choose to do.

At most I might look at a big dollar value post's voters just to see who likes them, out of pure curiosity, but not to make any decisions.


That you are a very rational person is nice for you but in truth we are humans and most of us are intrigued even if involuntarily by high value posts. As in "Why has this post earned $150, can I learn something from it so my posts get such nice rewards too?" And if you look around, there are few consistent patterns to answer such a question. One is of course the "group of whales" - one of them has posted and others have voted. Or some VIP who posts something and it attracts SBD like honey attracts flies. But for middling dolphins, what you learn is that it's the bots who helped a post draw you attention (regardless of the post's quality)

I agree with the "gentleman club rules" the author proposes: use bots because they are here and if you don't, the most determined "reward pool rapists" (to quote @berniesanders) will get away with an even greater booty. But exercise restraint.


Yes, It shouldn't matter how they got those votes if the posts are actually interesting and valuable, but when all the shit posts are flying around, bot votes are only helping them to get onto the front page (trending/hot) leaving all the interesting posts never to be seen.
We need to see more great content getting better rewards, because remember, new users will always take the examples that they see when they join.
If they join and all they see is memes and two sentence posts earning hundreds of dollars, they will obviously attempt posting shit as well. Thus, the amount of interesting content will be decreasing with each day/week/month.


I understand the argument, it's been made for the whole year I've been here.

people will degrade to the garbage they see!
whales should be pushing better stuff to trending
its not fair!
people will leave!

and yet, they go to 7-11 instead of whole foods anyway.

Markets gonna market. Adapt, improvise and overcome, or don't play?

All the good content creators find each other.

This is planet earth. My television has 270 channels. I don't watch the shitty ones, just because they are more prevalent than the good ones.

And which ones are the good ones? Cartoon network? Or A&E? I find A&E boring.....


Hello @sircock

I for one don't attach the quality of a post to the amount it makes. I check the Impact of the post.

But I am often saddened when Shitposts makes money. I believe that it is a huge diversion from the tenet of this platform which calls us to hold valuable things in high esteem


It is! but it's also possible and allowed. So, ignore and be better than that! Seriously, there are shitty resturants making a ton of money. Does that stop the 5 star resturant just because McDonalds exists?


Curious question... do you flag the shiposts you see?


I'd like to see more voting based on personal perception of the contents merit, regardless of what others think or do.

Freedom of mind is everything.


A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!


As far as throwing up their hands and saying "it's not like I knew what community standards are"... I call bullshit on that, I'm afraid. The community standards are the same as anywhere else on the net, only the stakes are higher. Spam for profit, gaming the system without regard for the community, and other bad behavior isn't acceptable anywhere on the net. Why would it be here?

That being said, there's definitely a large grey area here. And yeah, it's hard to navigate. Like you say, it's hard to put hours of work into a post, only to watch someone who wrote a paragraph boost themselves to trending with bots (although it doesn't feel much better when this happens with actual votes).

My experience has been that if you're getting under 50 sbd of voting power from the bots, using them actually hurts you. Like you say, it's not a great look in general. But after you get high enough up you get over a hump and hundreds or thousands of people will upvote you.

I mean, just look at this post by @jerrybanfield. The highest upvotes are from bots, and he's raking in the dough like there's no tomorrow. This is true for other posts on trending, too.

Doing things in this way feels a bit scammy, like gaming the system. I don't want to become dependent on bots. Then again, it is quite an opportunity. It's very much a dilemma.


I recorded pretty much same thoughts in my post on bid bot abuse (linked in top comment). This part especially.

I don't want to become dependent on bots. Then again, it is quite an opportunity. It's very much a dilemma.


I took a 5 month hiatus from bot voting, but now I'm doing it again... I think @aggroid is right, why leave the spammies with all the advanced weaponry?

However, I'm working on ways to help others, my plan is to spend $1 bot-voting others for every $3 I spend on myself. Maybe I can bring that up to $2/$2.

I'm in a tough spot, I lack access to 98% of my steempower, my upvote is 8 cents and to be honest, a lot of the support I used to get is either diluted by a flood of new users or they've just lost interest.

> Are you less likely to vote on a post if it has lots of paid votes?

Unsure, I may give it a smaller vote weight if it has insanely high payouts. But it's not the end of the world.

> What is "Quality Content?"

Original, creative, detailed works that are sure to at least capture the attention of -- and entertain hopefully -- a good number of users. Something that is impressive, that not everyone can create or has thought of...

This takes time, effort and communication skills. Look at the comment section, if it's filled with organic (non-spam) activity, that's a great sign!

> Does the timing of the vote purchased matter to you?

It depends on the intent of the voter. I think anything past three days is a bit shady...

> How much is TOO MUCH?

A bit subjective, but I make a comparison to what some of the organically successful posts are making.

I prefer to be an owner, not a renter. I think bot use is just another form of self-voting so it can create more noise and less signal. Many people come to me asking for advice on how to succeed at Steemit, but it seems few do the work of replicating what I've done. The three posts I mentioned here outline a lot of what works for me. I try to add value to other people's conversations first and build relationships that way. Eventually I've gained enough followers and friends to have great conversations in the comments and people now like my stuff enough to share it. That means I see no need to use an upvote bot. If my content is valuable to community, I'm confident it will be appreciated eventually. If something good gets missed, well that's why I keep producing.

Proof of brain is all about the community deciding what is valuable. I don't self-vote because I want others to make that decision about my content since I have a bias. If I think my content isn't valuable, I wouldn't bother posting it. Sure, I could self-vote all my root posts and maybe some comments, and no one would get mad at me, but I don't do things solely based on other people's perspectives. I try to operate based on my own principles and values. If they work, I can then be a demonstration for others of a better way.

Does that mean I'm leaving more rewards pool for scammers by not taking it for myself? Maybe. It's a sound argument. Instead, I'd like to shift the discussion towards personal responsibility for curators and stake holders to vote more for value-giving authors instead of expecting them to vote for themselves. There's plenty of good content out there, we just have to do the work to find it. As the communities and the steemit interface improve, that will hopefully become much easier in the future.


Thank you for sharing your perspective. This exercise has given me quite a bit of time to consider the subject, myself.

It can be hard to pull back and take perspective of a situation.


I never do anything unless I am very well informed about it.

For 90% of my posts I devote between 3-6 hours for the whole process (of creating content, research, writing, creating graphics and posting it). I have been lucky to have posts being rewarded from a few cents and a small amount of them to a few $. (Not complaining ..)

Since I have come to steemit I have done (apart from my content creation) a lot of reading, digging regarding many themes. (mark down, vests, comments, etiquette, blog writing, and more)

BOTS is something I yet know NOTHING about.

This post is definitely on my 'to-read' list, even if I am unsure I will ever use a bot to vote for me. [For both the content, the links and the comments by fellow steemians]

Thank You!

[resteeming too for further visibility!]

Code is physics - that's inescapable. Physics doesn't prevent me from punching random strangers - there's something more going on than "Code is Law". Communities evolve their behaviour guidelines.
My own feeling on bots is that they are a good visibility tool in an environment where visibility is hard to get. If we fix the visibility issues (that's complex) then the reasons for bots, barring pure ROI plays, disappears.
Bots aren't spamming the comments are much as they used to - which is great. I think that was probably a bigger issues for the optics of steem than the fact there are bots.
I'm a bit worried about upvote bots being used once an author has a sizeable audience. But I'm also happy that the value is being recycled (mostly) back into the steem economy.
I've been toying with a thought experiment around visibility: how many users would accept a small "promoted post" section in their feed? The thing about promoted posts is that people have to "burn" their steem (smoking?) and so they are increasing the value of steem by doing that. I'd be willing to try just because it might increase the use of promoted posts and smoking.


yes, in the feed is where promoted posts should go... or in the hot\trending areas, where people are already looking... not on it's own separate hidden tab...


A smoking corner? Sounds reasonable to me :)


im ok with it because i basically never look at my feed, unless it comes thru gina

Good questions... Honestly, I don't have a problem with bid bots, but frankly I'd like to see some risk involved. This involves actual risk of being downvoted from someone that simply disagrees that the post is worth the currently assigned value.

How is this value determined? Why just by comparative analysis. For example, there's some obvious outliers in value assignment just by looking at what's in the hot and trending section... ... Hum .. I just looked as of writing this and it seems to be a fairly difficult task. But for instance, one picture posts, and crazy high payouts come to mind.

There's an argument going around about people having high stake deserving to self vote their crap to however high they want, but this is flawed, for the reasons I hint at here. They deserve to be able to assign or whatever value they want, but the rest of us surely get a say in, "wow that's totally over valued".

I feel if more work was being done to value posts properly we would eventually hit an equilibrium of sorts.

So. Quality content? Determined by the "wisdom of the crowds". But perhaps the incentives in current form aren't enough. I also don't think we have the proper etiquette as a community yet. I wonder what would happen if everyone took one vote per day as a flag for whatever they felt was over valued (not shit they disagree with). Maybe it would make everything that much better? Maybe flags would turn into an everyday, accepted occurrence that is a form of feedback rather than political mudslinging.


you know, I probably didn't spend enough on bots for this post to get that risk factor... I also didn't get any assisting votes which I had hoped for :shrug:

Well here is a secret to everyone that use bidbots: it is highly probable that you will lose money buying votes.
The competition is too high to get a good vote per value sent to the bot.

But, on the other hand, i do use bots, by my main reason is to try to promote the post.

This is nothing different from what happens on the other social media, but with the big difference that everything is transparent. You can see who is buying votes, and you can flag the post that you think doesn't deserve de money/visibility.

I haven't thought about waiting until 1 hour to give more curation to the voters, but i think i will start to do that... makes more sense.

As I see it, voting bots are the equivalent of boosting a post on Facebook, or at least should have the same effect.

They are a convenient way to make one of your posts more visible, and are, just like on Facebook, more useful to those who haven't developed a large following on steemit yet.

At the same time, voting bots do influence the distribution of rewards.

I haven't looked into the paid voting bots subject, because I decided not to use them and take the long journey up (for full disclosure busy.org upvotes my posts when it 'remembers' and one of my followers enlisted me to some upvotes pool, for which I have no intention to pay anything).

I believe in the simple idea of upvoting something you appreciate, you found value in.

Voting bots, maybe even curation trails... they mess this idea up. But... according to the laws of free market and the rules that govern this ecosystem, they have the right to do so.

What advice I would suggest to serious voting bot creators/operators, would be to limit the vote submissions from the same account to one per day (and perhaps check the blockchain to see if the account submitted a different link to other voting bots as well for the same day). What good would that do? People will become more careful about what they submit to voting bots + those who create a new post every 5 minutes will not have the opportunity for multiple submissions per day compared to those who write a post in 3 hours.


I am a fervent advocate against their use at all. I see the sentiment of @aggroed as a cop out in addressing the root of the problem. The problem is the culture. That is what needs to change.

Bid bots do not resolve the problem of circular voting. The same voters could just vote using the bots and now the circular voting is concealed. It's not even a band aid to the problem but rather could even be used to perpetuate it.

I say this knowing there are bot owners that I respect personally but I in no wise endorse the the use of bid bots. If we do our duty to properly curate, we have a reward already. Not merely the curation payout but the satifisfaction in knowing we performed a function intended to improving this blockchain.

Steem is our mural folks. It's up to us whether we make it truly beautiful or become a paid advertisement. Your vote and activity determines this.

great conversation to have and it will be interesting to come back in a hour and see what people have to say.

I dont use bot, but I never say never. Coming from a social media background the do add an element of 'social proof' by increasing the payout....although this type of social proof is found upon on other platforms. it could be compared to buying reviews on a product you sell on amazon.

However where there is demand there will be supply and the bot owners are fulfilling a need. One must remember, the bot owner is here in a 'business capacity' . They want to make money. Will someone favor a bidbot that is 'socially ethical'? Do you make sure you clothes were not made in a sweat shop before you bought them?

Inappropriate use - sometimes it seems to me that anything that make your post a high earner will be deemed as some as inappropriate. what gets to me most is the double standards. Ifs its okay for the big fish, then it should be okay for the smaller fish right?

Quality Content - this really depends. I have my tastes as does each of us. I think the use of apps will help with this a little such as zappl for tweet like content and steepshot for photos. I think with utopian, post made here do not make it to trending or hot on steemit.com - if everyone would post via the right app for their content type and leave steemit.com for bloggers and authors, content would be found a lot easier. Obviously spam and copied content is not quality

As a small fry here, I believe that bot voting is essential to starting out here on Steemit, especially if you want to increase your visibility. With bot votes, you'll be able to get more eyeballs on your posts, increasing upvotes and followers. Once one achieves sufficient followers to upvote their posts organically, the use of bot votes should decrease.

From a monetary standpoint, it's a no-brainer to use bot voting. From my experiences, you make back your investment in the bot vote while essentially getting a free promotion.

I think using vote bots is a personal decision, I have just used them 3 or 4 times to see if they are a good investment, I have found they aren't, at least money wise, now if what you are looking for is to increase the ranking of your post or you want to increase your REP they definitely are a good option. As for inappropriate use, I don't think I can tell someone what to do with his money, if he wants to use vote bots, let him use vote bots. Then quality content, who can say what exactly is quality content what is quality to you might be called a shit post by someone else so I don't think we can call that one, perhaps a meme is so funny that it qualifies as quality and yet I take 5 hours to create a post but most everyone thinks it's crap, so no quality is too subjective to define, I guess quality is what I like, as quality to you would be what you like.

I don't use them with the exception of @randowhale and that's very rarely, partially because it sleeps more than a dead cat.

The thing about vote bots is this: if you use them to boost a crap post to insane levels, you will lose your entire "investment" as your newly-boosted post will be flagged off the map faster than you can say "shitposter".

The same goes if you try to boost at the last moment. If the post doesn't warrant it, if its plagiarised or otherwise complete garbage, you'll get nothing but some heavy flags from various community members.


It's all so dumb, the math has been done - the bots are money losing deal 90% of the time anyway.


Pretty much. I won't throw anything into a bid bot, just don't have the time to sit there and calculate what's optimal and then go around justifying my actions. I have enough to answer for as it is.


Guilty as charged..

I understand where you're coming from but in my own case only being on here since January bid bots are a necessity to promote. A lot of the time now it seems like bid bots aren't even profitable. Even if you double your bid in the form of a vote you may not even break even in sbd. But, if I don't use bots for the time being I think it would take a lot longer to get noticed and build steem power. It can really help minnows get that extra push.

I'm game for a bit of Bidbot gambling and agree with @aggroed's post linked above.

Why should I have my content sit lower than some of the utter shite that offers no engagement, no encouragement, no prizes, etc.

I'll continue to use them, mostly between 30-2 hours from post creation, to try to boost my content a little, especially as i'm not using my own vote on my work these days.


Are they required in order to "succeed" on the platform?


I would say, no... although they can be helpful in getting noticed when you are just starting out.


Thank you for the response.
I shall place my trust in the force of organic views. 🙏😇

I spent so much time debating bid bots that it's draining to even consider this question again. Basically for all the reasons I don't like them and think they support horrible content and bullshit to stay on the platform more or less gambling, they are here unless rewards change. I started using some about a week ago to see if Aggroed was right about it basically being paid promotion without burning your steem. I'll say "meh" on that front. Yes it's paid promotion, but considering it's mostly to people giving you spam comments and not even voting... what's the point? My main train of thought now is basically they are a known amount of the reward pool going out every day and I consider it almost like keeping steem powered up to promote a post and maintain growth. Even taking bid bots out of the equation we're now competing with $100 memes for fucks sake.

You raise a very difficult question, to which no one has an answer. Personally for myself, I decided that I would use bots only to become more visible. I very rarely exceed the limit of 5 sbd per post. In my subjective opinion this is the optimal limit.

Вы подымаете очень сложный вопрос, на которого ни у кого нет своего ответа. Лично для себя я определился, что я буду использовать боты только для того, чтобы становиться более заметным. Я очень редко превышаю предел в 5 sbd за пост. По моему субъективному мнению это оптимальный предел.

i've long been frustrated by the ability of spammers and shit posters to capitalize on posts at the expense of people who put in the work and wind of getting sheisted because of last minute jerks who put down $20sp and ruin the payout ratios. I know there are some ethical bot owners, but there are some that also manipulate the bots to their advantage (having witnessed a bot payout delayed 30 minutes until my 5sp bid earned $10 instead of $25). I'm all for owners proactively cleaning up the abusers, but i would like a step farther where owners who abuse are warned and booted. also i think that at a certain point, once optimal voting threshold has been reached, voting should be automatically turned off. No last minute 20sp votes that will put all bidder profits in the red. time to come clean.


exactly one bot claims to meet all your criteria - "honestbot" - so someone is trying to set that precedent by offering a better mousetrap - remains to be seen if others will follow suit.


Well i didn't know that! Do you know who the owner is? cheers!


just saw that one today on steembottracker... interested to know what it's about.


The only info I have, I too, read on bottracker, but I did peep the profile. Intentions seem legit-ish as much as they can be around here?

Well, I don't like the taste of a @grumpycat flag but I agree with his policy. As long as the post's fresh, promote it for visibility. Otherwise, you're just a greedy guy who deserves a flag.

hi @inquiringtimes. Thanks for opening this up.

I know I'm just a newbie and have so less rep yet. So this may not sound valuable to some. i just like to voice out what I observed. in fact, I'm learning little by little reading and exploring what do whales do.

The voting bots are hijacking the curation process, then again, they are democratizing in a sense. Because a lot of users get large autovotes on their content, regardless of the quality, so voting bots help to even the playing field in that sense. They can especially be helpful for new users, because people are more likely to look at a post if it has a $5 value than if it has a $0 value.

So true. I know I am not a good writer but I write to the best I can + the heart. It's just surprising to me too looking at those effortless posts which earned hundreds. What!? With that I'm learning to buy voting votes too recently. Of course, my writing doesn't change. I love and I care for steemit, and I don't have a plan to jeopardize the platform.

I think you're a little wrong. There are many people and many posts available to new steemit as well as for example this post (I mean yours) just do not leave the doubt or confuse them more (like yours). For that there is the label "steemit" there is much educational and informative content on how to grow on this platform.

On the other hand, not all new ones are simply informed because they do not search, they do not investigate, they do not take risks, because they were erroneously informed. From there depends the cunning that the user has, not only must have talent and spark to publish but spark to educate yourself and use the tools you have in your hands.


well, it's certainly harder to sort through all of the content than it used to be, I'll say that much! So, since there are plenty of posts available, what is your opinion on the matter of bot use?


I think that it should only be used when the publication is better viewed to be more valued. Now, you give good advice not to use it in the first hours of having made the publication. In that if I agree!
And do not use in shitposter as you say

I love to read posts like these. I can really feel the desire to improve the platform we all want to see grow and blossom.

I really don't know if any agreement about what is considered appropriate will ever be reached. People tend to act as they are incentivized.

I'd like to see the reputation system more refined and more determining in how things would be incentivized.


I don't expect 100% agreement, I'm do hope to get a range of opinions and be able to catalog the variety of ways that people feel about the subject.

I was under the impression that votebots were impossible to make any sort of positive ROI because they were way too popular... I haven't looked for a while, but I'm pretty sure they were mostly negative because of people slamming votes in at the last moment.

Also, if your post really is great, then you vote yourself out of contention for the curation services.


I was under the impression that votebots were impossible to make any sort of positive ROI because they were way too popular... I'm pretty sure they were mostly negative because of people slamming votes in at the last moment.

Yep the same is still true. I posted recently asking owners to consider closing the window once the ROI hit 0.00 - no dice :D

However, the curation calculation on the Bottracker site assumes 25%. The actual figure is more like 18-20% and so if you do catch a round with a mins 1-5% ROI, this will likely give you a tiny profit.

I'm done with upvote bots for the times bein'

Hello @inquiringtimes

I am happy that I came across this post. I have been considering the issue of voting bots for days as the issue is very political on this platform.

I am someone who puts great amount of work into my content so I have no fears about being accused of Spam.

I also believe that the main purpose of voting bots is to gain more visibility for my work and not to make profit. Profit will come when people see you as a person of quality and decide to follow you and engage with your content.

It is very bad in my opinion to use voting bots to increase post earnings of shit posts. I believe that such person is just projecting his/her stupidity.

When it comes to the issue of quality content. i believe that quality content is that which brings value to the reader is anyway, be it for entertainment or educative purposes. It is something the author will be proud to have his/her name on in the future.

And when it comes to voting bots usage, I plan to use it after 24 hours as I believe that it will be fair tothe people who upvoted my post ealier than that. Thats my two cents on this issue.

I am looking forward to hearing the opinion of others




thank you for sharing! It's a difficult question to answer, and there will be many different answers.


I have nothing against using vote bots on quality content. It's indeed a great way to simply boost your visibility, especially for people who don't have a lot of followers or users that upvote their content. It's a way to get your content out there, to be seen. But all those lame posts with no value are becoming more and more popular, and a lot of them are abusing the power of voting bots to game the system.
In my opinion, vote bots shouldn't be profitable. They should only boost your post, but you would get a vote that's worth less than what you pay for. Then bots would only be used for visibility purposes and it wouldn't be worth to pay for these services if you're posting memes or two sentence posts.
As it seems now, they are quite profitable so they are being abused.

Am trying to understand people who have problem with vote buying, but then again I don't think they will have a problem about leasing steem power which to me is another form of upvote buying.


the problem with vote buying is low effort content getting into trending, which is a bad look for the platform. what value does steem have if I look to trending and shitty posts are there.

leasing steempower is mostly a charitable act, unless you self vote a lot you are unlikely to get a return on your sp lease. mostly it's used to reward content that you are curating, or those who engage with your content.


I understand, but what will you say about someone who does produce shit post has you call it, but has been able to invest a lot on steem power that can take him to tending page.

Doesn't he have a right to invest in steem power?

To me, I think we are all missing the point. The main point is to mine steem and not blogging.

Besides most post I see on trending page are all OK to me. Except we are looking for Mr perfect, which we all know that we can't find.

I report shitposts to steemcleaners and call it a day. You should too.


Im thinking that Steemcleaners doesn't have the power to combat voting bot abuse...

Obviously, we see a lot more bot votes than before right now, since popularity is rising. I don't like this idea at all actually. I mean, firstly, there are tons of autovotes being made no matter the quality of the post. Even if someone posts shit all day, if he gets some nice autovotes, he will profit big time.
I'm not against autovoting, but people should care a bit more about how they use their autovotes and on who they use it.
Secondly, bot votes give the ability to get anyone on the trending/hot pages even if you provide no value whatsoever.
What it does for me? I never check the trending page, never ever... Because I know that when I open up this page, I'll see only some bullshit that is not even interesting. Is that what Steemit is all about? Where is the exploration? Where is the content that could teach you something new every day? Barely anything interesting is being posted, because everyone is here to game the system and earn the biggest rewards possible.
Nobody seems to be even trying to put up anything interesting. Memes, shit posts and plagiarized content seems to be the king here.
Plus, it's especially discouraging to most members, especially the new ones, to see a user posting memes daily and earning huge rewards, while you could be putting in a lot of hard work in your posts, but earn cents or a couple of dollars.
If this continues, we won't have any interesting content left on Steemit. Well, there might be interesting content, but you won't find it easily, because 90% of the posts are shit.


Steemit is evolving, it is no more just about blogging anymore..
.the main reason for steemit is to mine steem, nothing necessary blogging. This is why Ned just recently delegated over 600000 steem power to dmania.


So you're saying that Steemit should head this direction? A place where you post shit all day to mine some coins? This way the rich are getting richer, because they have thousands of dollars to pay for voting bots. Where do the minnows stand in such place? Not being able to afford voting bots would mean doom to any new user, because nobody would care about anyone's content. All that would matter is buying yourself a fat vote and enjoying the process of Steem and SBD going into your wallet. If that's the direction everyone wants to go, so be it...

Well, one of the first problems with the bots is that, as a new user, you can't really use them. you need to be here a bit to even begin to understand their use and then you don't have any spare SBD to buy them. So they put new users at an even bigger disadvantage.

I've been here a couple of months and have used a bot, paying 1 SBD, for a guaranteed return. I don't feel I understand enough to use the ones you see in steembottracker. I don't understand minnow booster to althogh that seems to be the one recommended for newbies.

The whole situation with the trending and hot posts make a complete nonsense of those feeds in my opinion. It's simply not a fair contest. Only a small minority can pay enough to appear in those feeds so how can that really represent what's trending or hot.

I've heard arguments for both sides and can see the sense in both but overall I would say the bots just put new comers at an even bigger disadvantage than they already have.

Throw renting delegation into the mix and it gets even more unequal.


The world is unequal. Aside from the issue, if you took bots/delegations out, richer folks still have an advantage over poorer ones. So? welcome to Earth?

I have however, seen penniless nigerians come here, with broken english, poor posts and nothing going for them, and build empires, becoming locally wealthy even in their region.

They ignored the noise, didnt whine about "fairness" on earth and got to work, networking, building relationships and continuously improving their craft.

Hey BIG NEWS! This is a JOB! It's WORK! and if you work hard enough? You can prevail!

It's been proven over and over and over and over again.

The "disadvantage" is false.


I am working hard @sircork. I am networking. I am building relationships. I am not whining.

We were asked for an opinion and I gave one. Maybe the "disadvantage" is false. I am expressing what it looks like to me after my short time here. I am not saying it is fact. As I said, I am expressing an opinion as asked for.


Roger that, and I counterpointed. No mal-intent intended.

As a leader in many communities and a witness who has been here a long time, I did knee jerk alittle to the countless thousands of times Ive heard this argument from folks who expected this to be an ATM machine and not the experience of opening the 1000000000th pizza restaurant in NYC, for example, where you have to bust your ass to sell a slice, and most will fail in a year or less, while some will go on to franchise for billions.

It's the real world here, and it works like that. With an anarcho-capitalist spin.

You have to play, to win, and you have to play hard.

But even the Bad News Bears got a movie and beat the champs.


😁 Well hats off to you for being willing to say "I did knee jerk a little". That's encouraging.

I didn't expect it to be an ATM machine here but I did expect the wealth to be more evenly distributed. I'm not making a judgement about that particularly but it was sort of the way it was sold to me. My experience so far is that it's no different here than it is in the world in general, which is probably your point.

It's not stopping me for working hard and giving it a go. I'm just having to adjust my view of what goes on here and that takes time and first hand experience.



Here's to your journey to the top being scenic!


Thank you kind sir. I'll drink to that! 🍹

Hi inquiringtimes.. I am quite agreed.. When i joined steemit i wonder how many newbies got so many sbds while i am gaining only pennies even after hard work of 5 or 6 hrs.. Actually it was really frustrating for me.. So i start analysis of such posts and come to know about these bots.. But really its true that my mind was not accepting thus thing mean vote buying thing.. I thought that if someone write good content then appreciation and upvotes are his right and so no need of buy any vote and if someone is not doing good then buying vote is totally wrong for a shit content coz it cause frustraton and disappointmnt in new users specially like me as in start we are not aware of bot type things here..
But i was to much disappointed few days ago when i wrote a post with hard work of 8 hrs coz i translated its contents from my language to english then typed it and then copy pasted in steemit.. But this earned only 0.74sbd and few upvotes.. It was about girls health.. Actually it turned my views and i decided to experiment bots but really i dont like using it..
So next post i wrote in jerrys contest.. I wrote this story in 5 hrz.. And wait for one hr.. It got nothing but 1sbd.. Then i bought votes fromtwo bots and its went up in trending.. Then i got few more votes on it...
Anywaz i ll wish that i neva need again to buy any vote.. And if my content is good it should be appreciated


there are two problems: content discovery which is that your post is hard for users to find even to find out if it's voteworthy... so you need it to get in front of more eyes in order to be eligable for a vote. The other issue is the matter of what people feel is valuable to them. So the post is valuable to you, doesn't necessarily mean that the people with the voting power think it is. I've tried to write more content that I feel that Steemians in general will want to read, than just whatever I want to write, as a result.


Hmmm.. You are right.. I need to take it infront of many eyes..
How can i do this? By buying upvote? Is it? Or you can give me some other advise to?
And 2nd part is good.. Its precious advice for me.. I ll think about it. And next time ll try select according to peoples mind.. I think i heard once in abusiness strategy that success is business in giving to ppl what they want..
Thanx for good advise

As a new user, voting bots for me are absolutely essential. I’m not going around dropping three hundred dollars on posts, but boosts from guys like minnowsupporter and minnowboost help give my post some sort of visibility.

I think there’s a fine line between new users using bots for visibility and people abusing them to skyrocket poor content to the front page @inquiringtimes

Here is an Idea, only vote on posts you read and like. Post good quality posts...and upvote good comments as well. I don't use Bots and never will.

Of course this is a very subjective matters. But I think we'll know an appropriate use of bots when we see one. If the post give value to other people, then it's appropriate. Not some selfies or random post.

This post has received gratitude of 17.17 % from @appreciator thanks to: @inquiringtimes.

excelent topic

I had no idea about the bots.

I think it's a disadvantage for those who can not buy votes for their content


It's the world. That disadvantage alone is moot. Your neighbor has a nicer car, cause he got a better job. Want a better car? Get to work?


That's so true. The most current lesson that I just learned? Work hard, then buy voting bots.

My response was too long for a comment.

I think it would help a lot if paid bot upvoted posts are marked as "promoted" or "sponsored content", what they actually are, like on other social media websites. This could solve the dilemma and add credibility 😊

you sharing a big post and i like your thinking.... one thing your writing skill impressed me.... really nice post...

Thank you for your time, thought and support!

How about we make better bots that detect spam? I'll dedicate some servers.....

this is a classy post thanks for sharing @inquiringtimes, looked me my blog

I just wish every bidbot has bidding value limit, enough for every bidder to profit. If that's the case, it's better to bid early than bid within the last minute.